Nathaniel P. Pearson

Compiled with the help of Cornelia Warner

Buried near the fence separating the Peermont Avenue houses from the cemetery, is Nathaniel Plummer Pearson. Born Oct. 6, 1788, in Newbury, Essex Massachusetts, Nathaniel was the first of 12 known children born to Mehitable (Plummer) and Jesse Pearson (Mehitable was the first of four children born to Hannah (Walker) and Nathaniel Plummer. Mehitable married Jesse Pearson on June 25, 1788 in Massachusetts when she was 17 years old. Check the marriage dates with Nathaniel’s birthdate and you’ll see it was a “shotgun” wedding.

Nathaniel’s parents must have come to this area sometime between 1790 and 1792 judging from when and where their children were born.

According to an 1873 affidavit by his younger brother Samuel, Nathaniel married Jane Shawhan at her father’s house in Pittsburgh on January 2, 1812. At the time, there was much excitement about the War of 1812, and Nathaniel and his brother Ebenezer enlisted in the Hunting Shirt Rifle Company led by Captain James Turbett (1st Regiment, Pennsylvania Militia) shortly after Nathaniel’s wedding. Samuel relates: “My mother & sisters filled a pretty large contract of making Linen Jackets and knapsacks for the Company. (I remember) the departure of the Co. for the seat of war. They passed my grandfather’s house, and being at school a few rods distant, school was dismissed, and with the other scholars I ran and climbed upon a board fence to see the soldiers pass.” Nathaniel, an Ensign, served a three-month term. His second child was named Oliver Hazard Perry Pearson in honor of the Battle of Lake Erie (1813) hero.

After the war, Nathaniel and his family lived in St. Clair Township where Nathaniel ran his father’s flour mill and operated his own saw mill. Nathaniel Pearson was listed as a tavern licensee from 1821 to 1831. In 1837, Nathaniel and his family moved to Birmingham (now the South Side) where he resided until 1869. In failing health, Nathaniel and Jane moved to Louisville, Kentucky, to live with their daughter Hannah and her husband John Stanger.

Nathaniel died September 19, 1869, at the age of 81. His body was returned to Pittsburgh. Samuel Pearson reported: “I accompanied the widow & children to the Cemetery in the County four miles distant and saw, as I believe, the mortal remains of my deceased brother, Nathaniel P. covered with the clods of the valley.” Jane later moved back to Pittsburgh where she died in 1877 at the age of 85.

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